When you see her up close she is a beautiful, intelligent, lively and cheerful woman …. we are talking about Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman to go into space. The mission is scheduled for November 2014 and aboard the Soyuz she will carry out several experiments in scientific, medical and pharmaceutical fields. She stayed at the Fattoria del Colle for a week together with a French colleague who coordinates the European ESA astronauts.
Using a car borrowed from the parents of Samantha, the two have travelled
throughout Tuscany covering hundreds of kilometers every day. To our question of ‘Wasn’t it a tiring way to spend their holidays?’, they shrugged as if to say that in comparison to their workload it was very relaxing. They said they wanted to get an idea and flavour of the whole of our region as they did not know it at all. Although a true food and wine lover, Samantha Cristoforetti told us that the astronauts diet has much improved recently, presumably thanks to her French colleague who, although very thin, has an excellent nose for good food and wine .
Cristoforetti Samantha came to visit us because she was awarded the prize Casato Prime Donne 2010, this is an initiative where every year
Montalcino crowns an iconic female character with the title of First Lady (Prime Donna). The winner receives bottles of Brunello, Chianti and Doc Orcia, some money (donated by Samantha to the young scientists conferences ) and a stay at the farm. Her quotation is engraved on a block of travertine which is situated in the vineyards of the Sangiovese grapes which produce the Brunello.
It is a beautiful dedication to women and to the territory of Montalcino. Words that make you think and reflect the courage and determination with which Samantha confronts her life “The authenticity of the sweat and composed dignity of hard work, the strength of commitment, the magnitude of daily life, the mystery of silence. They are solid and fertile soils on which to build a life of freedom to live with courage: to honour your uniqueness, to accept the risks that life throws at you, to dare to face your mistakes. To take a fall and get hurt, yet then get up with a true smile on your face.” This dedication is set on a block of travertine along a meditative path that crosses the country which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nearby is a statue that represents the other side of the contemporary female, the traditional woman: it is the old “Vignaiola” sculpted by Michael Austin Latka.
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
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